Sometimes something special just happens.

It happened the other night at Columbia Pro Cantare's performance of Handel's Messiah. The music, the performers just seemed perfectly aligned with each other.

Frances Motyca Dawson was on top of her chorus. They all had been there before, many times, but there was nothing tired or predictable in the performance. They just got better and better as the night continued.

Ronald Mutchnick's orchestral ensemble was also amazing. I actually looked for the individual musicians — who was playing the violins, the trumpet? They were crisp, lively, accomplished.

And if you were not uplifted by Lester Lynch's voice and presentation, you should, as they say, check your pulse. He told the story that we learned as children with a warmth and intensity that made you hear it again for the first time. It felt like a giant holiday hug.

The only disappointment was the lack of young people in the audience. By coincidence, yesterday a neighbor's three-year-old sang an impromptu Hallelujah chorus with his buddy as they jumped in the leaves in front of my house. It is no mystery how the arts are passed on. You let kids hear for themselves.

Mary Toth

Baltimore